Advertisement

Barbie star Simu Liu explains why his upbringing stopped him believing he could succeed in Hollywood

Simi Liu explains how his parents wanted him to pursue a career in finance rather than acting credit:Bang Showbiz
Simi Liu explains how his parents wanted him to pursue a career in finance rather than acting credit:Bang Showbiz

Simu Liu "never felt" that there was a place for him in entertainment because of his upbringing.

The 34-year-old actor is known for starring in the title role of the 2021 MCU film 'Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings' but explained that as the child of Chinese immigrants, his parents had encouraged him to pursue a career in the field of STEM rather than go into the arts.

Speaking on the 'Dinner's on Me' podcast, he told host Jesse Tyler Ferguson: "I just never really felt that there was room for me in that, it never felt like a world that I could participate in him. I always want to fight against this notion of a very stereotypical tiger parent and I think for a lot of immigrant parents it comes from a discomfort.

"To them, math and science are universal and they're not bound by language. One plus one will always equal two. Any work they could help me on, they thought as long as I was doing something related to math or science then they would always be able to help.

"But as a writer, that's so far out of anything they know and that's a very uncomfortable place for a parent...when they were like 'I'm so not equipped to help you'. That's what I felt."

The 'Barbie' star worked as an accountant for nine months but was fired in 2012 and subsequently sought an acting career but felt as if being let go from his finance job was actually so "freeing" because it allowed him to pursue his passion.

He said: "I think a lot of our cultures are laced with dishonesty and it's a lot of lying to each other to protect feelings but also lying to each other...collectively keeping a secret from someone, that happened.

"Not to excuse what I did, but I was let go from that job, thank God, and I had a bit of severance money. It wasn't much, it was like $3,000 but it was enough for my first headshots and a couple of acting jobs. The act of being fired was so freeing.

"I think wanting to be an actor came first and foremost out of this desire to want to be seen and noticed. I didn't feel noticed by my own parents either because they were trying to force me or pigeonhole me into this very narrow definition of success."